Learning Across Disciplines
“From my past [GEP] classes, I can see that a lot of the GEP courses are very similar in the way that they involve a lot of researching and critical thinking. I feel throughout all these courses, I have been taught a lot about researching different topics and finding the best ways to utilize these methods.
For example, in this class [U.S. History: 1877-Present] we are researching different museums and in a humanities class I took a year ago, we had to research different places we wanted to go visit and see. Even though they were different periods of time being analyzed there was the same method of engaging the students to research and apply the course in our own ways.”
– Undergraduate Student enrolled in U.S. History: 1877-Present
GEP Faculty Development Program and Other Activities
Inaugural General Education Faculty Meeting. Sept. 13, 1:30 p.m. Open to all. Come learn about this year’s incoming class of freshmen and the latest news about UCF’s newly integrated GEP.
GEP Faculty Development Program. September – November 2019. Open to any faculty actively teaching in UCF’s GEP. Faculty from across disciplines represented in the GEP collaborate to make their courses more integrative and engaging. They participate in five sessions focused on topics like active learning, incorporating open educational resources, transparency in assignment design and new approaches to meaningful assessment. Please submit applications by August 30.
GEP Teaching Squares. Fall 2019. Open to faculty who have completed the GEP Faculty Development Program. Teaching squares bring together four faculty from different disciplines who agree to visit one another’s classes over the course of a semester. They then meet and discuss what they have learned. The goal is to create space for conversations about integrative learning and to reflect on one’s own pedagogy.
Assessment Pilot of the Newly Integrated GEP. During the 2019-2020 academic year, a team of GEP faculty will collaborate to create and pilot a new program level assessment of UCF’s GEP. They will build on the accomplishments of previous faculty teams who have laid the groundwork by developing foundation-level learning outcomes and exploring how to assess them across multiple disciplines.
Melody A. Bowdon, Ph.D.
Associate Vice Provost, Academic Innovations, and Associate Dean, College of Undergraduate Studies
Message from the Associate Vice Provost
UCF is committed to making students’ earliest semesters at the university a positive and productive opportunity for planning and preparation for the future. Dr. Melody A. Bowdon, associate vice provost for Academic Innovations and associate dean of the College of Undergraduate Studies, explains the university’s to transform its General Education Program (GEP).
Over the past two years, UCF’s College of Undergraduate Studies has worked diligently to lead the development of a new model for general education that will promote student success, leverage and help to institutionalize our Quality Enhancement Plan through an emphasis on integrative learning, and support the development of a genuine sense of community and cohesion among general education students and faculty.
In conjunction with this effort, a team of faculty fellows from the Colleges of Arts and Humanities and Sciences worked to secure broad campus buy-in for such a model. After studying existing programs across the nation, reviewing the literature within the field, evaluating UCF student success data, and engaging with more than 100 stakeholders (including faculty, administrators and staff) and an even larger number of students on campus, the team helped to develop an innovative and exciting program that will help students to make and articulate meaningful connections between and among the courses they take in their early semesters at UCF, establishing the GEP as an academic foundation for their thinking throughout and beyond their undergraduate experiences.
Students in the refreshed GEP program will see strong connections between and among their courses at the university and their other life experiences, like co-curricular activities, work experiences and community engagement. They will be able to connect their earliest coursework at the university with their broader life plans, and their learning will be strengthened through the process.
Faculty have the opportunity to collaborate with each other to think about their course curricula, teaching strategies and assessment methods, building a strong collaborative community with an eye toward student success.
The program will have a soft launch in fall 2019 with more than 60 faculty members incorporating the new learning outcomes and teaching strategies into their courses. We expect that all GEP courses at UCF will be aligned with the new approach by spring 2020.
Integrative General Education Experience
Five program-level learning outcomes will provide students with a cohesive learning experience that will enable them to plan, connect and reflect as they move through their foundational learning experiences.
Per Danielsson, Ph.D.
Andrea Scott, Ph.D.
Rachid Ait Maalem, Ph.D.
Interpretation and Evaluation
Patricia Farless, Ph.D.
Christa Diercksen, Ph.D.
Department of Biology
Joe Gennaro, Ph.D.
Department of Music
Amanda Groff, Ph.D.
Department of Anthropology
Ram Mohapatra, Ph.D.
Department of Mathematics
Daniel Murphree, Ph.D.
Department of History
Debbie Weaver, Ph.D.
Department of Writing & Rhetoric